Maggie Moore(s) review: An uneven film saved by its actors

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Jon Hamm, Tina Fey and Nate de ted lasso (Nick Mohammed) do their best to make maggie moore an outstanding comedy. At times, the inventive story and its protagonists triumph. Other times, it feels like this patchy but engaging game would have worked better if it had been a limited series à la Fargo. The premise is priceless.


Two women with the same name are murdered within days of each other. Enter small-town police chief Jordan Sanders (Hamm) who sifts through a variety of suspects: cheating husbands, lonely hearts, nosy neighbors, and kooky hit men. The man has enough in his unstable personal life. Do you need this stress?

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Maggie Moore, that recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, is directed by mad Men student John Slattery, who supposedly wanted to take Paul Bernbaum’s script and tell a story extremely fine-tuned in tone, character, sentiment, and intent. all in maggie moore) has some kind of vulnerability to move. These characters seek emotional connection and fulfillment in the midst of a wild double murder story. The only thing missing is Frances McDormand and… a little more editing to make this movie fly higher. But what we get is still attractive.


A story based on real life events

“Some of this really happened,” says the first line. Indeed. In the fall of 2000, there was Mary Morris, a murdered Texas woman. A few days later, another Texan named Mary Morris was murdered. Could these events have been the deliberate work of a contract killer? Maybe the first kill was a shoddy assassin mishap. Perhaps the second Mary was the intended victim. Or maybe she was from the other side. Screenwriter Paul Bernbaum gives audiences a lot to talk about in the narrative department, and director John Slattery makes the best use of his stars, for the most part.

Related: Jon Hamm’s Best Performances, Ranked

The film opens with a murder of Maggie Moore and then flashes back in time to track down the events that caused Hamm’s Jordan Sanders and his clever if not annoying sidekick Reddy helper Nick Mohammed to stand on a corpse. The genesis of the calamity has its roots in the slapstick of Jay Moore (Micah Stock of Brittany runs a marathon and linkage). Jay is, well, dumb. And desperate. He is operating an ill-conceived scam at a sandwich shop, opting to forego the use of mandatory corporate supplies in lieu of obtaining expired products on the cheap. He is thinking of extra earnings. But he’s not really thinking about anything. His wife Maggie threatens to kill his plan, so Jay finds a gruff guy named Kosco (Happy Anderson) to scare Maggie away. Let’s just say Kosco is ambitious. He sets Maggie’s car on fire. She’s on it, of course. Things start to fall apart from there.

Tale of two dead maggies

Jon Hamm and Nick Mohammed in Maggie Moores
screen media

This is where things go Fargo in Maggie Moore(s). Worried that the police will find out that he played a role in Maggie’s first death, Jay hires Kosco again. Looks like there’s another Maggie Moore (Mary Holland) in the area and, well, yeah that If Maggie were to die, maybe the whole thing would look like an intentional serial killing.

What follows are moments of humor, but it never reaches the hilarity that you really hope this comedy will achieve. Thrown into the mix and perhaps underused is Tina Fey (30 rock) as Rita Grace, a divorcee who falls in love with Jordan. It helps that she’s nosy and has overheard Jay and Maggie No. 1 fighting. Hamm and Fey play nice with each other. We like these actors and audiences tend to feel at home watching them. Still, they don’t always rise above the material they’re given.

Related: The Best True Crime Documentary Movies Ever Made, Ranked

Standouts here are Nick Mohammed, who proves there is life for him beyond Ted Lasso. What a refreshing surprise to see the range this actor has. Along those lines, if you feel inclined, check out everything you can find on Mohammed’s tour schedule, The best and worst of Mr. Swallow. look it up below The Ballad of Renegade Nella new Disney+ adventure series directed by Ben Taylor (Sex education, Catastrophe). Meanwhile, Micah Stock is a hoot every time. His interactions with another thug, a tough deaf guy, are hilarious.

Bottom line: maggie moore it works because of the large cast that feeds it. In addition to Hamm, Fey, Mohammed, and Stock, the comedy features excellent performances from Tate Ellington, Allison Dunbar, Peter Diseth, and Bobbi Kitten. Slattery’s direction is mostly effective, but ultimately, there’s a disconnect between the script and what we see on screen. If you remember how you felt during the last creative breaths of Kevin can fuck himself you may find yourself equally frustrated here. But give this cast credit for not killing this interesting premise.

Maggie Moore, of screen media, is available in theaters and on demand June 16.

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